Students Learn A New Language

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

They pay for her health benefits and Visa and the Chinese government takes care of the rest.

State education officials say Perry County Central has the only mandarin language teacher in our region and WYMT's Marie Luby spent the morning in her class.

“Anything that you buy almost it seems, you'll see that little sticker, 'made in China,” Estill Neace, Perry County Central Principal said.

Most of us probably don't know much about the people and the language.

Yanmei Jia or "Miss May" as her students call her, is trying to change that in her six mandarin classes at Perry Central High School.

“It's a really wonderful experience. I'm really excited to introduce this language and this culture to the students,” Jia said.

School officials say Miss May is one of only 250 Chinese teachers in U.S. secondary schools and Chinese is the most widely used language in the world.

At Perry Central there's a waiting list for her class.

Seniors may not retain much in just one year, but school officials say the exposure still opens up possibilities.

“Being able to understand more of their culture and understand the fundamentals of their lifestyle I thought would be another opportunity that our kids would be able to compete globally in the workforce,” Neace said.

Perry Central expects to host a Chinese teacher for at least two years.

Miss May receives a monthly living stipend from the Chinese government, and she's staying with a local teacher.

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